Jeremy Olson stood in front of his home May 25 and looked across the street and down the block, to the back of a small house nestled in what he described as a serene neighborhood. On the other side of the red-brick home that was snaring his gaze, police that morning had shot and killed one of his longtime friends.
He had grown up with Jeff Foote, had gone on Boy Scout camping trips with him. Their mothers are close, too, and sometimes walk the Washington Terrace neighborhood together. But now Olson was left struggling to understand why someone he'd known his whole life was dead.
That morning, police said, Foote, 39, had called 911, threatening suicide. When officers arrived, they tried negotiating with him. But when he fired a handgun, a Weber County sheriff's deputy shot and killed him.
For Olson, the incident represented the latest in a string of officer-involved shootings that has him and many others questioning whether police are overstepping their bounds.
"It scares all of us. It really does," Olson told the Standard-Examiner at the time. "It scares the community. I think cops need to come out with a better explanation, to tell you the truth."
Since the beginning of 2012, there have been at least 11 officer-involved shootings in the Top of Utah -- five in Davis County, four in Weber County and two in Box Elder County, according to Standard-Examiner records. Five of those shootings were fatal.
That amount of shootings in such a short span is unprecedented in the Top of Utah, where Standard-Examiner records dating back to 1990 show the typical number of officer-involved shootings in a year between Weber and Davis counties to be around three or fewer. Information detailing the number of police shootings in other areas of similar population was unavailable.
Several local police officers were unable to attribute the rise to any one factor, but Ogden Police Lt. Chad Ledford said officers in those situations don't escalate tense situations and don't react with lethal force unless provoked.
"Officers respond to what the people they're dealing with, their actions," he said. "You're never going to narrow it down to a specific reason, but officers respond to what they're presented with. However you want to interpret that is how you're going to interpret it.
"(Police aren't) showing up guns ablazing, just because. They're presented with a situation, and they respond based on their experience and training."
To some, including Jim McConkie, an attorney representing the family of Troy Burkinshaw in a lawsuit against Box Elder County and its sheriff's office, the jump in officer-involved shootings represents an increased willingness of police to use lethal force, even when it's not their only option.
Burkinshaw was shot and killed Oct. 26. by Box Elder Sheriff's Deputy Austin Bowcutt after a low-speed chase. Though the shooting was ruled justified by the county attorney's office, McConkie said the incident didn't have to turn fatal.
"It's very troubling because police officers are entrusted with deadly force, and it should be used sparingly," he said.
"And when it is used, it should be used in accordance with the rules and regulations. We really can't bring a lawsuit unless we believe police have violated basic rules about when and how they're permitted to use deadly force."
Washington Terrace resident Wayne Webb disagreed, saying the police have to use any method necessary to protect themselves, because they often enter situations where a criminal has the upper hand.
"(Police) are doing a great job," he said. "They've got to protect themselves any way they can. Criminals can pretty much arm themselves however they want and alter their weapons, and police can't. ... The shootings I've seen don't seem to be the average Joe on the street."
Though only two of the 11 shootings have been ruled unjustified, McConkie fears there's a negative shift in public perception of the police and that it could be damaging.
His concern is that people may become more hesitant to cooperate with officers, leading to more situations where deadly force could become an option.
Layton Police Lt. Shawn Horton said officer-involved shootings haven't diminished confidence in the police among the majority of the public, though that would be a concern. Even so, officers must ensure the safety of themselves and others before considering what the public might think.
"It's important for local agencies to have the trust of people we serve. It's important for us to make decisions that are lawful and appropriate," he said.
"There's always going to be people in the public that don't feel we should have done what we did. As far as those people go, we can't base our decisions to defend our lives or lives of someone else based on what the public perception's going to be."
One large concern, McConkie said, is whether officers are properly trained to handle situations requiring deadly force. However, several officers in multiple jurisdictions across the Top of Utah were adamant that officers are given the best possible training, including simulations designed to mimic the pressure in those situations.
"Do we provide adequate training, and do we provide everything we possibly can, within the framework of the budgets we have available to us to provide that training?" said Weber County Sheriff Terry Thompson.
"The answer is absolutely.
"Now I'll be the first to tell you we can never provide enough preparation for a deadly force incident. That's not to say what we're doing isn't both adequate and well-done -- it's just that you can never possibly prepare enough for a life-and-death situation."
Top of Utah officer-involved shootings since 1991
* May 25, 2013: Jeff Foote, 39, was fatally shot in front of his Washington Terrace home by a Weber County sheriff's deputy, name not disclosed, when officers were investigating a 911 call Foote made, threatening suicide. Police said Foote was shot after firing a handgun.
* March 29, 2013: Cody J. Ramseyer was fatally shot by Willard Police Chief Nate Thompson after Ramseyer crashed his car on Interstate 15 near the Willard exit and charged at responding officers. Police had received reports Ramseyer was driving recklessly and had been trying to pull him over for several miles.
* Feb. 25, 2013: When he brandished a gun after leading police from several agencies on a 50-mile chase that ended in Farmington, Brett Max Knight, 33, was fatally shot by an officer, name not disclosed. Knight was suspected of being involved in a bank robbery in Draper earlier that day.
* Dec. 18, 2012: Clifford Dean Owens, 51, was shot at by Ogden officer Justin Kaufman when Owens rammed Kaufman's vehicle twice during a chase. The shooting was ruled unjustified. Kaufman was not prosecuted but has resigned.
* Nov. 24, 2012: Kristine Nicole Biggs, 41, was shot in the eye in South Weber by Morgan sheriff's Sgt. Daniel Scott Peay after a 32-mile chase through Morgan, Weber and Davis counties. The shooting was ruled unjustified, though Peay was not prosecuted.
* Nov. 11, 2012: Aaron Matthew Collier, 35, committed suicide during an exchange of gunfire with two Ogden officers, names not disclosed, investigating a domestic abuse report at Collier's Ogden home. The officers reported Collier shot first, when they didn't have guns drawn.
* Oct. 26, 2012: Troy Clark Burkinshaw was fatally shot in Corinne by Box Elder Sheriff's Deputy Austin Bowcutt after a low-speed chase. Before shooting, Bowcutt was standing in front of Burkinshaw's car and was bumped twice with the vehicle. The deadly force was ruled justified, but litigation from Burkinshaw's family is pending.
* Oct. 8, 2012: JC Ramirez was shot and wounded by a Sunset officer, name not disclosed, after the officer saw him waving a gun inside his Sunset home and then firing it at a wall. When the officer yelled at Ramirez to put down the gun, Ramirez pointed it at the officer.
* Aug. 28, 2012: Joshua Robert Isakson, 30, was shot and wounded at a Layton home when he attacked a Layton officer, name not disclosed, who was investigating reports that Isakson had abused his girlfriend and another woman.
* March 21, 2012: Brian Lane Harris, 22, was shot and wounded by Layton officer John Lynch at Quail Ridge Mobile Home Park in Layton while Lynch was investigating reports of Harris shooting his girlfriend in the leg. Police were concerned Harris had a gun on him he would use, and Tasers failed to subdue him.
* Jan. 4, 2012: Matthew David Stewart, 37, was wounded in a shootout with police as they served a search warrant at his Ogden home. The shootout resulted in the death of Ogden officer Jared Francom and injuries to five others. Stewart was found hanged, in an apparent suicide, in a Weber County Jail cell May 24, 2013, while awaiting trial on several felony charges.
* June 18, 2011: After a 16-hour SWAT standoff in an Ogden motel, Jason Valdez exchanged gunfire with officers storming his room, then shot himself in the chest. He survived and was sent to prison.
* Jan. 4, 2011: Cody Allen White, 25, was shot and killed by police in Davis County after allegedly threatening them with a gun following a chase involving a stolen vehicle.
* Nov. 5, 2010: Paulo Berumen, 34, was killed by Clinton detectives Bryan Haywood and Shawn Stoker, who were responding to a domestic violence call and found Berumen brandishing a knife. The incident was recorded on a Taser camera.
* Sept. 16, 2010: Todd Blair, 45, was shot and killed by Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force Sgt. Troy Burnett during a drug raid at his Roy home. He was brandishing a golf club when shot, the incident recorded on officers' helmet cameras.
* July 9, 2010: A possibly suicidal William Oakden, 30, was fatally shot by officers at his Bountiful home after he fired a gun that was later found to be an Airsoft toy pistol. Woods Cross officer Adam Osoro and West Bountiful officer Trent Wass were responding to a report of Oakden covered in blood and carrying a knife.
* April 10, 2009: Damon Lee Weems, 30, was shot fatally by Roy police after firing at officers through a bedroom door in his apartment and emerging with a shotgun. Officers, names not available, were responding to a call from Weems' mother that he was suicidal and drinking heavily.
* Feb. 27, 2009: John Michael Taylor, 47, was shot and killed by Weber County sheriff's deputies, names not available, after barricading himself in a barn behind his Taylor home. Taylor provoked the officers' fire, even goading them to shoot.
* Feb. 26, 2009: Jeffrey Jay Cramer, 36, of Layton, was shot and killed by Layton officers, Sgt. Jason Hinojosa and officer Anthony Yuen, after firing a shotgun in their direction. Cramer was suicidally distraught about losing his job.
* February 2008: Matthew Jaramillo, 32, wanted in connection with an armed robbery of a check-cashing business in Brigham City, fired a Romanian AK-47 assault rifle several times in the parking lot of City Hall and was injured when he was shot three times by a Box Elder sheriff's deputy.
* Dec. 18, 2006: Jesse Turnbow, 29, was killed after he opened fire on Ogden officers Ed Mahon, John Sattelmair and Derek Draper, responding to calls about an angry man waving a shotgun.
* June 23, 2006: Howard Bradly Nelson, 40, was shot and injured by officers, names unavailable, at a downtown Ogden motel after a short car chase.
* May 27, 2006: William Glen "Billy" Maw, 35, was shot and killed after he pulled a gun on Ogden officers Troy Burnett and Aaron Haws during a traffic stop. Maw was well-known to police as a white supremacist with a criminal record.
* Jan. 28, 2004: Ryan James Loosemore was shot four times by two officers while inside the Harrisville Walmart. Homeless and depressed because of a drug problem, Loosemore was seeking an "officer-assisted suicide" by aiming at officers with an air pistol replica of James Bond's Walther PPK handgun which he'd shoplifted in the store. He survived and was sent to prison.
* Jan. 4, 2004: Robert Apodaca, 30, of West Valley City, was shot, then took his own life during an exchange of gunfire with Roy officers Don Ponton and Adam Madsen. The officers sought him after a robbery.
* Aug. 2, 1999: James Westmoreland, 62, was shot and wounded by a South Ogden officer after he pointed a rifle at officers responding to a domestic disturbance complaint at his home.
* March. 27, 1999: Two Ogden police officers, Tom Hanselman and Ken Huckaby, and Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Chris Williams shot and wounded Joey Conrad, 18, when he brandished a gun after being pulled over for running a red light. Conrad was sent to prison for attempted murder.
* Feb. 24, 1999: Weber County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Howard shot and wounded inmate David Michael Younger, 34, when he tried to escape while being transported from 2nd District Court to Salt Lake County Jail.
* Jan. 17, 1999: Ogden officer Robert Clements fatally shot Joshua Eric West, 23, after West, apparently suicidal, kept threatening four officers with a large hunting knife and was undeterred by pepper spray and any verbal communication.
* Sept. 26, 1996: Tony Colwell, 17, is shot nine times by Utah Highway Patrol Troopers Don Sagendorf and Warren Nelson after he threatened Sagendorf with a handgun during a traffic stop in Ogden. Colwell survived and was sent to prison for attempted murder.
* Aug. 30, 1996: Phu Ly, 65, is fatally shot by Roy officer Adam Madsen after Ly brandished a knife at officers responding to an assault call. Neighbors reportedly saw Ly beating his daughter with a broom handle.
* Feb. 12, 1996: Michael Stanfield, 18, died in an exchange of gunfire with Layton SWAT members Allen Swanson and Quinn Moyes, who were responding to a domestic violence call from Stanfield's wife.
* Sept. 17, 1994: Daniel Hickman, 35, a rape suspect, was shot and killed by officer John Valdez after a short foot chase when Hickman took an aggressive posture as if he had a gun, although it was later determined he did not.
* July 8, 1993: Weber State officer Kent Kiernan is shot in the nose after student Mark Duong, 28, opened fire during a campus grievance hearing. Kiernan fired back five times, killing Duong.
* Sept. 25, 1991: Roy officer Pete O'Brien was wounded in an exchange of gunfire when he killed suspected drug dealer Charles E. Kent during an undercover buy in the Ogden Flying J Motel.
Source: Standard-Examiner archive and media reports